Airbus and ITA Airways are working together to bring urban air mobility (UAM) to Italy. The two have signed a memorandum of understanding that would see the partners work to garner additional partners to help launch Airbus’ CityAirbus NextGen eVTOL aircraft in the region, as well as identify pilot cases and address public acceptance by discussing the value that UAM could bring to communities.
“This agreement is testimony to the strong relationship between Airbus and ITA Airways,” said Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus. “It is an opportunity to leverage our shared ambition — pioneering sustainable aerospace — and advance new air mobility solutions for zero-emission vertical flight in support of our cities and communities later this decade.”
ITA Airways is an Italian flag carrier airline, created in 2021 with sustainability as one of the pillars in its business plan. The airline recently purchased 28 aircraft from Airbus, which includes seven A220s, 11 A320neos, and 10 A330neos. The A350 will also join the company’s fleet this summer.
Airbus said it has been exploring electric propulsion technology for its aircraft since 2014, and in September 2021, the company unveiled the CityAirbus NextGen eVTOL aircraft.
The aircraft is a fully electric vehicle with fixed wings, a V-shaped tail, and eight electrically-powered propellers as part of its distributed propulsion system.
The CityAirbus NextGen is targeting a range of 80 kilometers (50 miles) and cruising speed of 120 kilometers per hour (75 miles per hour), while carrying up to four people including the pilot. The company previously told eVTOL.com that it expects to enter the certification phase with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in 2025.